Hip Hip Hooray for the Weekend!

It was a pretty good day- amazing what a good book can do.

Teaching:

I sat on my couch this morning and seriously thought about taking the day off so I could read my book, but I didn’t and work wasn’t that bad, though I did sneak in reading every break I could!

We got through our self reflection for the report card, drained compliment rockets and did a kindness sunshine with our big buddies.

Not a lot accomplished, but no one got punched for a change so I’m going to count it as a success.

Family:

I quickly headed home after work to go pay my utilities bill and then went to pick Gus up at school. We went for ice cream and then looked for material for a new blanket for him. Finally we also hit Wendy’s for dinner. I do love my time with Gus!!!

Reading:

Last night I started a new book, not expecting a lot because I’ve been in a reading slump lately. I read: The Two Date Rule by Tawna Fenske.

It was awesome! This is the story of Grady, a bush firefighter and Willa, a web designer. Both have a lot of baggage, like every adult does, but somehow they find their way to each other.

I loved how complex these characters were. Multi dimensional and interesting! Willa is battling demons from her past and Grady is scared of the future. Their problems seemed realistic and how they dealt with them was too.

The pace was great- moves along without a lot of head games and it had more showing than telling which I appreciate.

There were so many swooney moments, but my two favourites were the excuses he kept coming up with about why their meetings weren’t a date and the calendar he created.

This was a great book that I just couldn’t put down.

Thanks to the author, publisher and NetGalley for the free ARC in exchange for an honest opinion.

Well I’m going to go organize some knitting patterns and then head for bed.

Have fun!

AJ

Solid Saturday

It was a pretty good day. I got to do things I enjoy, but I had to do certain things which does take some of the fun away.

Exercise:

Dennis and I ran a new route this morning- the Central Valley Greenway. We intercepted it at Sperling and ran the 5.28km to Boundary and back. This is an urban trail that only has one section of packed gravel and the rest is paved. I don’t think I would run it alone as it runs behind buildings and through industrial parks. Dennis thinks it probably gets pretty busy on summer nights and we probably passed twenty people during the 10km we did, but still seems secluded to me.

My legs were tight the whole time and my left Achilles was bugging me. At four km I was ready to say, let’s go find a skytrain station and go home, but good running buddy that he is, Dennis kept me going. I had done a workout last night instead of a run, but maybe my legs would be better if I reversed those two?

We did the whole 10.04km and I had a personal best with doing it in 1:05:21, that is down from 1:07.

This evening I did a hallmark workout as I am trying to keep my workouts and my runs equal.

I decided to jog between moves and did: squats, crunches, reverse crunches, front, side and back raises, froggers, burpees, bicep curls, around the world lunges, plié squats, pushups, and dips.

I hope one day that these workouts pay off!

Knitting:

After coffee, I came home and started the toque I am making for the secretary’s daughter. It’s an easy knit as it’s done in seed stitch which is one of my favourite stitches. Right now, I’m just worried that the yarn is going to be too dense to slouch, but I suppose we shall see.

Reading:

I have spent a lot of today reading my Bookclub book. I am almost halfway which is probably the best I can hope for as the book is 579 pages long. I am making this post short so I can get back to it.

Cooking:

I made my second Fresh Prep meal today which was Hoisin meatballs with broccoli and coconut rice. This recipe took me 32 minutes from turning the stove on to taking my first bite. It would have been less if I had remembered to take the ground pork out to de thaw and hadn’t had to take the 2.5 minutes to microwave defrost it in the middle. The recipe was easy to follow and simple to do. With both of these recipes I have felt that I could probably memorize the recipe if I made it a couple of more times. I also got four servings out of this recipe too so I should have plenty to get me through until the next two meals show up on Wednesday. I would like to get to the point where I can get six servings out of each meal as then I could freeze a couple and build my stash back up as my freezer is very empty right now.

Eating:

I have eaten really well today! I had a bag of honey stinger chews on my run as I was trying to give myself energy. I had a serving of my shrimp pad Thai for breakfast, and then taco salad for launch and then the meatballs and rice and broccoli for dinner. I wasn’t planning on the last meal, but realized later in the day that I needed to get that meal cooked up.

Well that is my whole day and I need to go read my book.

Have fun!

AJ

Maybe A New Habit?

Sorry for no post last night. My oldest friend came into town for a convention and made the trek out to see me for the night. It was awesome as we definitely just pick right back up, regardless of how long it has been:)

Teaching:

It was a tough day today as my students just weren’t listening well. We got through music and a math lesson on adding doubles. I had them jumping up and down for the doubles, but unfortunately, they just couldn’t handle it:(

We also worked on our snowflake art this afternoon. We were hoping to be done, but it looks like it will be tomorrow.

I was definitely frustrated by the fact that a parent sent an email to me today saying that three of my girls were in the office Friday at lunch because of problems on the playground, but I knew absolutely nothing about this:(. Argh communication people, please!!!!

Exercise:

I got home this afternoon and really didn’t want to run, but since I hadn’t been out yet this week, I knew I needed to go. I wasn’t fast with this cold, but at least I got a few more miles in!

Reading:

I finally finished the book, Seduction with Sapphires by Jane Feather.

This book is very entertaining. I liked the main characters as the female is strong willed and always true to herself while the male is enlightened and grumpy hero.

A well written and entertaining, though very modern historical romance.

I have read other books by this author and thoroughly enjoyed them, but with this one, I found myself continuously pulled out of the story by inconsistencies in behaviors. It seemed as though they were dressing in 1870s clothing and had some of the traditions of that time, yet they leaped into bed on their second meeting, he cane by the house just before dinner, she never came home some nights, and so on. It felt like 1920s behaviour. I found it quite distracting and it definitely took me a while to get through the book.

Knittting:

I finished my Seattle Sockhead Slouchy hat. This is the first project I have knitted off my queue and I love it!! The pattern is super easy and definitely appropriate for a beginner. The yarn was MJ Yarns One Ewe Fingering which is 100% superwash Merino in the colour Whirl, and was pretty and easy to work with.

I have about 85-90 yards left and am thinking of what to knit with it so that the skein will all be gone.🤣

New Habit:

I had to get up about a half hour early this morning as my friend had to leave earlier and I found I really liked having the extra time to just sit and knit and drink tea in the morning. I’m not sure if I’d be able to give up the half hour of sleep, but I may have to try it out:)

Have fun!

AJ

Finally an FO

I had a whole list of things I wanted to get done today, but unfortunately the energy level just wasn’t there for all of it.

Exercise:

Of course I couldn’t sleep in this morning, but after lazing in bed and having a lovely 1/2 of a fried egg sandwich, I got out for a run. Later in the day, I wished I had waited as it was pretty grey when I was out there. I ran slowly as I needed to get 45 minutes in for the Squad Runner mission. I didn’t run that long (used some walking to make up the time), but got a nice 5.24km though it went downhill quickly at the end when my stomach started talking.

After recovering for the rest of the day I got a short hallmark movie workout done this evening. I did a minute of jogging between each of these: crunches, reverse lunges, squats, reverse crunches, burpees, plié squats, dips, froggers, mountain climbers, and high knees. Not many of each, but something.

I’ve been keeping track of my workouts this year and am thinking my goal might be to keep my number of runs and number of workouts equal.

Stitching:

I will have an update at the end of the month, but I actually did some stitching today. It was so nice and bright and sunny that it seemed like the perfect time and I did a lovely calm hour of stitching.

Knitting:

I went to the knitting store today and got a Pom Pom for my friend’s toque that she wants me to make her. I got that and the Gramps pattern from Tin Can Knits with the gift card I got from a student this Christmas.

I also got busy and got my baby blanket done. I used all five balls of yarn I had, but it still didn’t turn out to be as big as I wanted. I still really like the pattern, but also would have liked it if I had done the full 18 rows of border on both ends instead of shortening it to 9.

I tried to have ice cream after the yarn store, but Vashti Rose wasn’t open yet. I guess I was saved.

Movie:

Tonight I watched Homecoming For Christmas which was very cute.

Well that was it for my quiet day!

Meeting For a Run Is The Best Way

It was an incredibly quiet day! I didn’t even get out of my pajamas until 1:45pm!

Knitting:

I spent this morning finishing off the scarf I had started last night. It actually turned into a cowl as it wasn’t very long. It will be nice and warm for someone though. It was just thirty stitches and knit each row, made with Wendy wool.

Reading:

I have been reading Bringing Down the Duke by Evie Dunmore. This is the first book of the year for the Not Your Mom’s Romance Bookclub and I have to admit I wasn’t super excited to read it by the back cover description. It was available from my library online though so I figured I would try it. I have been really enjoying it. It’s about one of the first women to attend Oxford and she is on scholarship from the Suffragette league so must help with their cause. She’s assigned to convince the most powerful duke to support the cause. It’s been a very cute historical so far.

Exercise:

This afternoon I did another Hallmark Christmas movie workout. I watched Christmas Under the Stars which was just okay and then did a workout. I did a minute of jogging in between: 10 reverse lunges per leg, 35 crunches, 25 jacks, 5 burpees, 10 squats, 10 plié squats, 5 dips, 5 mountain climbers per leg, 10 pushups, 15 curtsy lunges per leg, 5 high knees per leg.

The movie didn’t seem super Christmassy and I think the low numbers in this workout prove that.

This evening, after a lovely nap, I met up with the Thursday night group for a run. It was a good thing I had committed to meeting people as there is no way I would have gone otherwise! We did 4.57km and I felt like I was running fast, but I really wasn’t and was actually running slower than usual:(

Shopping:

I stopped at Chapters on the way home to grab gifts for my friend’s sons whom I will see tomorrow. I had started the older son on a Robert Munsch collection and so this time got him More Pies which is set in Vancouver. I’m starting the younger son on a Dr. Seuss collection so this time he got Fox in Socks.

I always think starting a book collection for kids makes gift buying easier!

I also got them playdo and kinetic sand to go with the books.

Well I’m going to go finish my book.

Have fun!

AJ

Bye Bye

Well even though I got more days than I expected, I still don’t like it when my mom goes home and I have to become an adult again:(

Exercise:

I had arranged to meet up with my Sunday morning running group for a New Years Day run. It ended up just being Dennis, Sarah and I, but we got 5.27km done. We got to take a new trail at Colony Farm and it was a lovely path, though it will be even nicer when we can do a loop instead of having to backtrack.

I also got a Hallmark Christmas movie workout done this evening. I did a minute of high knees between these exercises: reverse lunges, crunches, squats. Plié squats, pushups, burpees, dips, curtsy lunges, jacks and high knees.

Reading:

Most of the day was super quiet and relaxing. I finished my first book of the year which I heard about on the Not Your Mom’s Bookclub podcast. It’s called Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson. It was a sweet historical romance and I really enjoyed it. It had a touch of mystery to it and the emotions were written so well that the reader feels them too. A great first read for the year:)

Knitting:

I spent most of last night and today knitting a Barley hat out of Mohair, but when I went to visit my mom tonight to say goodbye I tried it on her head. My mom has the biggest head of anyone I know and it was too big for her so I ended up frogging it and I am just knitting a simple garter stitch scarf with this cool Mohair.

Podcast:

Relentless Knitting had a new podcast out so I listened to it as I knitted today and really enjoyed their merriment and hearing how their lives have been going.

Movies:

Tonight I watched Holiday Date. It was super cute! It was the familiar trope of a fake relationship but was well done. I really loved the dad’s character. He was so into Christmas and yet really gruff with the men in his daughter’s lives 🤣

Well the first day is the year is done:)

Have fun!

AJ

2019 Reading Review

It was a very long travel day, but we all survived and made it home safely.  I was the random person who got their phone tested. I could have told them there’s only chips, sweets, book ink and yarn fiber on it🤣

Reading:

I spent much of the day finishing a NetGalley read, called Between Friends by Elsa Miles.

This is the story of Tessa and Jordan. They have been friends since they grew up on neighboring farms in Wyoming. However, can they become more?

This is a friends to lovers trope that is quite successful though it is a very slow burn.

The hero and heroine are interesting and dynamic characters who remain true to themselves.

The one element I questioned was that if these two were such good friends wouldn’t they be better at talking things out?

I had decided that as I met my goals in each area, I would do a review if that part of my life and since yesterday I made my goodreads goal, that means I am starting with my year in reading.

I have recorded 100 books read on Goodreads though this does not include the books I read to my students every day. I can only imagine how many books I read in the classroom!

So some stats:

100 books

30,502 pages

Average length is 305 pages

The most popular book I read this year was Where the Crawdads Sing

My average rating is 4.2 on Goodreads

I have read 21 books for NetGalley

I have read 10 books recommended or read by the Not Your Mom’s Romance Book Club.

Genres:

Kids:8

Fiction: 16

Historical: 10

Romance: 67🤣

I think my goal next year is to read some non fiction!

Ok off to not read🤣

Have fun!

AJ

 

A Solution

So today the solution to my always being cold at work became clear to me as for the first time ever, I wasn’t cold once! I just need to wear flannel pajamas and a robe to work every day!🤣🤣 Happy pajama day!

Exercise:

I worked out with L this morning even though I didn’t have the energy to push ashard as I usually do. We did about 24 minutes on the treadmill with hill intervals and then did floor exercises that included banded lateral steps, step ups,squats, power sit ups, planks with leg lifts, and lateral lunges. I just keep telling myself that something is better than nothing.

Teaching:

I can’t say that I did much teaching today. We had music this morning, then after quiet time we coloured stockings and gingerbread men while watching the original Grinch Who Stole Christmas.

After lunch we had planners and silent reading and then watched The Muppet Christmas movie which was a mistake. I had wanted to show the children the Jim Carrey Grinch movie but it is rated PG so I showed the muppet movie whose box said rated G. Turned out it was way worse than the Grinch ever was and I will never show it again! Let’s just hope I don’t hear from parents about it!

Knitting:

This evening I had a massage and then have been trying to pack. If anyone has any helpful hints for deciding what to bring, please let me know!

I have spent the evening restarting my blue market bag. I won’t be giving it away until the new year so I have the time, but need to get a few more projects done for my goal of 40 projects this year.

Movies:

Tonight I watched the Hallmark movie, The Christmas Club. The premise of the movie- that our good deeds keep going around- is one I love, but I didn’t love the movie as much as the one I watched last night.

Reading:

I did finally finish the book, Those Sweet Words by Kait Nolan. This is book two in the Misfit Inn series. I enjoyed this book a lot and loved the strong presence of family and community. Now I just have one more to read and I’m done that series.

Blogmas:

I’ve never been a huge board game player as my family always played cards when I was growing up. I have accumulated a few board games in the hope of playing more, but it just hasn’t happened yet. Maybe it will in the future as it always sounds so wonderful in books and movies!

Well that’s it for me today.

Have fun!

AJ

Grateful Sunday

It was a pretty nice day all around, though it still feels like work to breathe.

Exercise:

I got out for a run with Dennis this morning while Brenda and James walked. We were supposed to do 10km but we got talking and didn’t start running right away so it ended up being 7.3km. I am just fine with that. Neither Dennis nor I can figure out why we were slower this morning, but we were. Maybe I spent too much time admiring the sunrise.

This afternoon I got another Hallmark movie workout done. I changed it up so that each movie item coincided with two exercises.

I ended up doing:

30 crunches and 30 reverse crunches

10 jacks and 10 cross jacks

15 burpees and 15 mountain climbers each side

15 squats and 15 deep squats

5 plié squats and 5 pulsing squats

15 curtsy lunges each side and 15 lateral lunges each side

In between each of these I put a minute of with jogging or skaters.

I think I’m liking these workouts because every one is different, though I realize I’m not going to build much muscle with them. Oh well, at least I’m moving a bit.

I’m grateful for the beautiful place I live in and the many outdoor places I have available to run. I’m grateful for running buddies who keep me going and make me laugh even when I’m dying. I’m also grateful for the body that allows me to do all these things.

Cooking:

I made a gluten free, dairy free trifle today. I did Schar gf/df ladyfingers, a layer of raspberries, then a layer of chocolate pudding made with almond milk, then a layer of So Delicious Coco Whip. I then repeated them all again and topped it with more fresh raspberries. It was very delicious and went over well at Bookclub.

I’m grateful that I love to spend time in the kitchen and that there are becoming more options for me all the time. I’m also grateful to have a grocery store that carries lots of allergy free options. I’m grateful for the Bookclub girls who willingly eat what I make and provide so many laughs:)

Reading:

I finished the kids Bookclub book today, Turtle in Paradise by Jennifer Holm. This was such a great book! It is about Turtle, a little girl who has to go live with her aunt in Key West during the depression. It was fast paced, the characters were awesome and it made the depression really understandable for kids. It’s told from the perspective of Turtle and so from a kids perspective. I would highly recommend this book and In fact, I’ve read Holm’s other book The Thirteenth Goldfish and loved it too.

I’m grateful for wonderful authors and for getting to share books with the older kids at school.

Movies:

My Christmas movie for today was Pride, Prejudice and Mistletoe. It was super cute, though perhaps a little tough to tell who was supposed to be who at times. I think I have it straight now, but who knows. As a cute Christmas movie it was entertaining:)

I’m grateful that there must be other people who like these movies like I do so Hallmark keeps making them:)

Bookclub:

We had our Christmas meeting of Bookclub today. This is the time when we choose our books for next year. It was better this time than last, perhaps because here were six of us and so the new girl didn’t get to talk continuously! None of my books were chosen for next year, but that’s okay. I will probably still read them myself:)

Well I have to get to bed.

Have fun!

AJ

A Lump on the Couch

I slept in until 9am this morning which is almost unheard of. Unfortunately this extra sleep doesn’t seem to have helped as I was super tired all day:(

I started the day by heading over and getting my iron checked again. I just checked and my iron has gone from 6 this past August to 2. I don’t think any iron stayed in me long enough to help, but I guess this explains why I’m asleep all the time!

Cooking:

For my snack this morning, I made the homemade eggnog recipe off of Minimalist Baker. I made a third of the recipe as I definitely didn’t need eggnog in the house. It was fine, but I can’t say it really tasted like eggnog to me:(

Knitting:

Since I was on a roll I called about the bands I need for my winder and got assured that they would send it out today! I sure hope it shows up soon!

I worked on my sweater a bit, but have to admit that the short rows are confusing me right now. I think I need more brainpower for that!

I have also spent some time working on another market bag. I need to get going on these!

Reading:

I finally finished The Flat Share by Beth O’Leary. I loved the premise of two people getting to know each other through sticky note messages. This book also tackled a very tough topic and did a great job. I have to admit the epilogue was the best part for me!

Exercise:

I dragged myself out for a run today as I was hoping the fresh air would help. I just went to the park and back so only 2.8km. It was slow and steady, but got it done. Thankfully I’ll be doing 10km tomorrow to help with my lack of mileage lately.

This evening I did another Hallmark workout as I watched Picture a Perfect Christmas. I ended up doing:

5 squats

40 jacks

10 plié squats

5 pushups

20 pulsing squats

5 burpees

15 curtsy lunges

35 crunches

35 reverse crunches

40 front kicks

In between each of these I did a minute of skipping or jogging.

Movies:

I also watched Recipe For Love today, but have to admit it definitely isn’t my favourite Hallmark movie. I found the lead guy really annoying as he can’t control his temper at all.

Eating:

I’ve had eggnog, roast beef slices with cream cheese, mustard and pickle slices, cucumber with cheese and half of an eggnog cupcake.

My friend Melissa and I ordered from Pikanik which offers food that is top 8 allergen free. I went to Langley today to pick up my half of the order. I got eggnog cupcakes, butter tarts, and sugar cookie and gingerbread dough. I had half of the eggnog cupcake tonight and have to say, I still think homemade is better!

Well I’m off to sleep again, as usual.

Have fun!

AJ